6 Skeptical Thoughts About The Black 'Bachelorette'
It finally happened.
Fourteen years after its debut, "The Bachelorette" will actually have a black lead for the first time ever, during the next season of the show. Her name is Rachel Lindsay, and she was a final contestant on the current season of "The Bachelor."
ABC decided to reveal Lindsay as the new Bachelorette during Monday night's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," despite the fact that her elimination from the "The Bachelor" has not aired yet.
Lindsay is a 31-year-old, Dallas-based lawyer. Lindsay is apparently a miracle worker, too.
Let me explain.
I'd long accepted there would never be a black person as the lead on "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette." In fact, I was surprised Lindsay was even on during the current season of "The Bachelor," never mind making it to the late stages.
Now that she's the next Bachelorette? Dude, I have so many questions.
On this subject, you could label me a skeptical black person. And maybe I'm reaching just a little, but I feel very confident when I say most skeptical black people are thinking the exact same thoughts I have about this show.
Here are a few of them.
1. The Coming Home Episode
I am dying to see the episode where Rachel (inevitably) takes a white guy to meet her parents... because we all know that's when things get real.
I don't care what anyone says; the "I'm colorblind" talk is all fun and games until a white girl brings home Fuquan or a black guy brings home Becky.
And guess what? No one illustrated this simple truth better than Lindsay.
In that short video above, she explains to Nick Viall (the current Bachelor) that he would be the first white man she brought home, which raises eyebrows.
If I'm bringing you home it means something, and yes, they will be skeptical and they will ask questions.
That's called keeping it 100.
When Rachel's the Bachelorette, in all likelihood, nothing malicious will happen or be said. Still, those family visits are sure to be something else.
2. The Ratings
Will viewers want to actually see a black woman as the lead in a role they've been conditioned to expect a white woman to play? I'm not exactly sure.
After all, the producers have avoided implementing a black lead in the nearly 30 combined seasons of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." I'm not necessarily criticizing them, either.
But it doesn't seem like a coincidence.
Clearly, there was some apprehension. The ratings will tell us whether that apprehension was warranted.
3. Can we get through the season without a racist remark?
As someone who walks to work in Manhattan every day, if there's one thing I know some men are good for, it's insulting women right after they get rejected.
It happens to white women, too, of course... even on "The Bachelorette." Next season though, with a black lead, I'm not exactly sure any of the men will be above instinctively hurling a stereotypical insult at Lindsay.
Hopefully it doesn't happen, but I can only be so optimistic.
4. The Role Of Black Twitter
I've seen Black Twitter explode over bad breakups. I've seen Black Twitter make jokes and memes out of things you'd think couldn't be funny. I've seen Black Twitter make me want to watch shows I didn't even know existed.
When Black Twitter decides something is either funny or worth viewing, it becomes conversation-worthy. I can't wait to see how apathetic or invested Black Twitter gets about this show.
5. The Cast
The last season of "The Bachelorette" had one black contestant. I wonder if this time around, in lieu of there being a black lead, whether they'll decide to change things up and feature a more diverse cast of contestants.
If they don't make that change though, the show will be that much more interesting. We've literally never – ever, ever, ever – seen a pool of white men, the most privileged among us, try to cater to a black woman, the least privileged among us.
It's such an interesting dynamic.
6. The First Awkward Moment
In all interracial relationships, certain awkward conversations are bound to happen. There's just no way around that, especially if there's a black woman courting 20 white men.
I just can't wait to see which conversation happens first.
Will it be about hair? Will it be about temperament? Will it be about her background? I don't know.
What I do know is, I'll be watching – with skeptical eyes and all – to see how it unfolds.